I’m busy athome, keeping calm and carrying on, and I hope you are all safe and well inyour own homes. During this difficult time, I encourage you to keep your eye onthe RYA’s central online hub for coronavirus news and guidance across all activities. And you can stay up-to-date with the latest news, adviceand activities to keep you and your members in touch and on form by checkingout our Facebook page @RYASouthWest.
Closure over Easter
In order to ensure we have adequate staff cover when the currentcrisis begins to settle, the decision has been made that all RYA staff will beon mandatory leave entirely for a two-week period from the afternoon of 03April through to the morning of 20 April. In this way we can be sure ofsufficient staff cover later in the year to service your needs when the peak ofthis crisis has passed. However, during the Easter fortnight we will besupporting clubs and centres which have urgent issues. If you do need such supportplease contact firstname.lastname@example.org. This email addresswill be monitored over the whole period.
Also, I will be working for a couple of hours a day during thisperiod in order to monitor my calls and messages and I’ll make sure I get backto you as soon as possible.
Supportduring the crisis
I’m really aware of howbadly Covid-19 is going to impact every sailing club and centre, and I’d liketo know how you’re being affected and how you’re planning to cope. I’ll listento what you need, and we are capturing the details of all the organisations whoget in touch.
SportEngland has announced a £195 million package to help the community sportand physical activity sector in England cope with the impact of the Coronaviruspandemic. This includes a £20 million Community Emergency Fund which will beopened immediately for clubs and community organisations to bid for grantsbetween £300 and £10,000 and will be open until the end of July.
The currentguidance is that you shouldn’t to rush to put in an application. We’re workinghard now to collate information for you on the best way of approaching yourapplication, so please start thinking about what you’ll need and let me know,so that I can support you and keep track of who is thinking of applying. We’llbe releasing more information for you in the near future.
I know thatat this time many of you will be trying to boost your communication withmembers, and that digital and social media solutions are incredibly important –don’t forget about the resources available in Club Zone, which have been producedby our digital partners SocialB and you will find very helpful.
Loginto Club Zone and go to the social media section.
Now may bethe perfect time, while you’re at home with less to do, to sort out some thingsthat you usually don’t get around to:
Someinspiration from other clubs
We know that lotsof clubs are keeping their members amused and occupied with imaginativeactivities online. We’ve seen fantastic responses to photo competitions (thebeautiful sunset shot above is an entry to Poole Yacht Club’s Facebook competition entitledReflections) and also to some exciting building challenges. Asyou can see from these photos, my own children were amongst those who took part in another of the club's competitions which created hundreds of comments on its social media and entertained lots of members, young and old, who spent last weekend building boats that could propel themselves the lengthof their baths!
Not only do thesecontests and challenges create fun, but they’re also working extremely well asthemes for home-schooling projects. So, of course, we want to hear what you’reup to. If you’re engaging your members with fun ideas like these, use your ownsocial media to keep them going and please post comments and photos on the@RYASouthWest Facebook page – we’ll try and share them for you and get everyoneworking together!
A significantnumber of SW clubs have been keeping their members and customers engaged using eSailing VirtualRegatta and it’s proving very successful. There will be regional andnational championships for each club that’s taking part – look out for details onemail and social media after Easter.
Stay safeand well.